Obesity and Insulin Resistance are linked to many chronic conditions like high triglycerides, high blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol levels and type 2 diabetes. Have your doctor order lab tests to determine if you may have any of these conditions. You may not look forward to knowing the answer, but the sooner you know, the sooner you can do something about it.
Understanding Your Lab Results
It’s not good enough to have your doctor tell you the results if you don’t understand them. You need to understand them to be able to compare them to your lifestyle and eating habits. Ask questions and do some research on your own. Be prepared before you visit the doctor, and be an advocate for yourself.
Sometimes lab tests may produce inaccurate results, but all abnormal routine lab results are worth looking into and should never be ignored. They can be a wake-up call telling you that you need to take better care of yourself. However, abnormal lab results don’t necessarily mean you need to go on a prescription medication. Speak with your doctor about ALL of your options, including ways you may be able to naturally reverse your condition.
There are many routine lab tests available to help evaluate your current state of health. These are some of the important tests that can accurately evaluate your health that you should have in addition to others your doctor may order.
Cholesterol tests: Knowing the health of your heart is critical when you are overweight or obese. Cholesterol tests, or Lipid Panels, are routinely ordered to determine heart attack risk. There are many factors to consider when evaluating these tests.
- For instance you may know that HDL is your ‘good’ cholesterol and LDL is your ‘bad’ cholesterol. What you may not know is that LDL contains both good and bad parts, and those numbers will have a factor on how healthy you are. Standard tests do not breakdown LDL.
- How doctors explain lipid panels may vary also. Some may focus more on the ‘total cholesterol’ number, and not on the ratios or your triglycerides which may be a more accurate indicator of your health.
- Triglycerides are an important part of cholesterol testing that is not often discussed. High triglycerides could be a direct indication of heart disease.
It’s also important to know that your cholesterol numbers change based on your lifestyle habits such as your food choices, activity level and other habits like smoking. Make sure your doctor is aware of all things that may influence your results.
A1C/Glucose: The A1C blood test is used to measure the average amount of glucose in your blood over the last two to three months. This test is used to determine your risk of type 2 diabetes. A glucose test measures the amount of glucose in your blood at that moment.
Liver function: Certain blood tests can tell you how your liver is functioning. The liver is the main blood filter and detoxifier in the body. The liver is also the primary fat metabolizer. When the liver gets overloaded, you may experience weight gain or the inability to lose weight, and will feel tired and sluggish. Weight loss is unlikely when your liver is overloaded. Ask your doctor to order tests to determine how your liver is functioning.
C-reactive protein: This test is an accurate indicator of heart disease. It measures the level of chronic inflammation in your body, and your triglycerides to HDL ratio. Inflammation is an indicator that something is wrong. You can have inflammation anywhere in your body, but it’s the inflammation in your arteries that cause heart attacks. Unfortunately this test is not routinely ordered. Why not? Possibly because it would show that many of us don’t really need cholesterol medication – causing the pharmaceutical industry to lose millions of dollars in profits.
Vitamin D Test: Vitamin D is actually a hormone that is critical to proper body function, keeping you healthy and preventing disease. Vitamin D deficiency is linked to many diseases including heart disease. Obesity and a deficiency of Vitamin D are also linked to Insulin Resistance. Vitamin D deficiency is common today due to the use of sunscreen and poor diet. You should be aware of your Vitamin D levels and ask your doctor to order this test.
Hormone levels: Obesity and Insulin Resistance can affect many hormones. Obesity causes increased production of some hormones that can then increase your risk of heart disease, cancer and affect the longevity and quality of your life. If you have a hormone imbalance you should be aware of it.
Abnormal Lab Results
Always re-test when a lab result is abnormal to make sure it wasn’t just an inaccuracy. One number on one routine test should not be the deciding factor on a condition or whether or not you go on medication.
Many things can affect your routine blood test results, including prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, supplements, dehydration, alcohol consumption and eating habits. Let your doctor know what medications and supplements you are taking and any lifestyle habit changes you’ve made so they can correctly evaluate and re-test if necessary.
Lab results tell a story, the story of your health. They should be used to adjust your habits and lifestyle in order to reach optimal results. Labs should not be used solely as a reason to prescribe medications. Many diseases and conditions can be prevented when the body is taken care of. Use your lab results as one of the many tools available to give you the motivation to strive for optimal health.